6 Ways to Fight your Traffic Ticket

by sem on September 3, 2013

How to Fight a Florida Traffic Ticket

Like anything else, contesting a traffic ticket has a bit of a risk to it. Rather than asking for forgiveness and leniency (which may result in a reduced fine), you’re telling the court that you were given the ticket unfairly in the first place. Here are a few tips for what to do when you find yourself in that awkward situation.

Poke Holes in the Officer’s Argument

It’s time to put all those years of watching Law & Order to good use. Go back over all the surrounding details, make a note of anything that seems out of place. What are you looking for? Anything that might discredit the officer’s ticket. It may feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, but if you find something, anything, it could convince the judge to toss your case out.

Here are a few things you might want to keep an eye out for:

  • Was the speed limit sign/stop sign obscured by bushes or trees?
  • Was all of the information on your ticket written correctly?
  • When was the last time the officer’s radar gun was calibrated or serviced?
  • Does the officer have a record of issuing unfair citations?

Any of these details are good for building the case that you were ticketed unfairly.

When You Are In Court

Does all of this feel a little, well, seedy to you? Welcome to the American judicial system. It’s not so much about who is right or wrong, it’s about painting a picture that’s sympathetic to your cause. In this case, the ticket was unjust, so your goal is to do what you can to ensure you walk out of there without having to pay a fine.

If you feel morally icky about all of this, that’s probably a good thing. But you should know, that’s how the system works, and you can be sure that’s how the officer is playing it. Ask yourself this: Do you want to pay a ticket, or not?

“So wait – I should lie?”
No, of course not. You don’t necessarily have to prove that you were in the right, you just have to prove that the officer was in the wrong about something. Anything. And it could help.

Take a Traffic School Course – Ahead of Time

Don’t pretend you wouldn’t benefit from a refresher course. Taking an online traffic school can be a useful part of your in-court strategy (“Your Honor, I have taken it upon myself to enroll in, and pass, an online traffic school course, in an effort to be proactive with my personal driving safety.”) It’s also a great way to prevent the next ticket from ever happening.

The Next Time You Are Ticketed

Just kidding! Of course, there won’t be a next time. Whether you win or lose, you should be walking away having learned a valuable lesson: It’s always easier to avoid the hassle and simply not get a ticket in the first place.

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